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October 18, 2005

BlackBerry Hacks: Maximize the Untapped Power of a BlackBerry

Sebastopol, CA--Not just for corporate dynamos anymore, the versatile and flexible BlackBerry handheld computing device allows anyone, anywhere to stay in touch and manage life with ease. "The nice thing about the BlackBerry is that it has something for every type of user--from the newbies to the most advanced alpha-geeks," says Blackberry expert and author Dave Mabe. With his new BlackBerry Hacks (O'Reilly, US $24.95), BlackBerry users at all levels will uncover creative tricks and tools for using BlackBerries for phone calls, instant messaging, email, organizing, web browsing, and a whole lot more.

"The BlackBerry is ripe with opportunities for the hacker in all of us," says Mabe. "Just the size of the keyboard and screen required RIM [BlackBerry developer Research in Motion] to build hacks into the device to make it usable for the average person." But the 100 smart, standalone hacks in Mabe's guide go well beyond what's "usable"--these cutting-edge tips and tools make the BlackBerry the most remarkable mobile communications device for email, instant messaging, web browsing, and receiving RSS feeds as well as managing a BlackBerry Enterprise Server and using the Mobile Data Service. Developers will learn how to make a web site "BlackBerry friendly" and even how to get started with Java development.

"There are a slew of hacks for the beginner, but even the most advanced power user will find juicy nuggets to incorporate into daily use," promises Mabe. Chapters include:

  • Using a BlackBerry: Change programs, do things quickly, hide rarely used icons, and customize a BlackBerry
  • Email: Filter messages by type, use an Auto Signature, check Gmail six different ways, and more
  • Games: Kill time and have fun with Texas Hold 'Em, Java and Magmic games, and Zork
  • The Internet and Other Networks: Transform the BlackBerry from simple personal digital assistant to truly mobile computer while blogging from the road, chatting, and using GPS
  • Free Programs: Shop, manage eBay auctions, store passwords securely, and get fast mobile search
  • Shareware Apps: Take advantage of the coolest third-party applications for doing things like syncing to a Mac, faxing, spellchecking, and getting real-time stock quotes and charts
  • BES Administration: Helpful techniques for BlackBerry administrators who want to test the SRP connection, create and send alerts, ping a user's BlackBerry, track messages, and export user stats
  • The Web and MDS: Control web access, track requests, and turn a tired intranet site into a mobile, push-enabled application optimized for the BlackBerry
  • Application Development: Create HTTP connections, deploy BlackBerry applications, sign COD files, and more
  • BlackBerry subscribers--a whopping three million in May 2005, reports RIM--will find all the expert guidance and secrets they need to master the common as well as the largely untapped capabilities of their all-in-one phone, inbox, organizer, and browser.

    Additional Resources:

    BlackBerry Hacks
    Dave Mabe
    ISBN: 0-596-101155, 256 pages, $24.95 US, $34.95 CA
    order@oreilly.com
    1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

    About O'Reilly

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